Crackle Streaming Second Season of Ashton Kutcher’s ‘Going From Broke’ on May 20

Crackle Plus, one of the largest operators of streaming advertising-supported video-on-demand networks, May 6 announced inspirational guests and financial experts for season two of Crackle original award-winning series “Going From Broke.”

Executive produced by Ashton Kutcher and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, the six-episode season is hosted by Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig and entrepreneur and financial expert Tonya Rapley. “Going From Broke” premieres on Crackle on May 20 with new episodes launching each Thursday.

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In the series, six new cast members drowning in massive personal debt get help from guests and financial experts to overcome their financial struggles. Guests include executive producer Ashton Kutcher; Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky; co-founder of Resy, Empathy Wines and VaynerX Gary Vaynerchuk; actor David Costabile (Lincoln, “Billions,” “Breaking Bad”), entrepreneur, investor and author Kim Perell, Andi Kirkegaard of Kirkie Cookies, and The Scholarship System founder Jocelyn Paonita Pearson.

Financial experts include author/speaker Rachel Cruze of Ramsey Solutions; author and financial guru Lynn Richardson; founder and CEO of Financially Wise Brittney Castro; Reverend DeForest Blake “Buster” Soaries Jr.; and School of Rock president and CEO Rob Price.

“Season two of ‘Going From Broke’ dives deep into the nationwide student debt crisis, and audiences will see firsthand how the financial experts and inspirational guests offer helpful solutions for those who struggle with financial burdens,” Jeff Meier, head of programming for Crackle Plus, said in a statement.

“Debt is weighing Americans down, and student loans are the fastest-growing type of debt out there. Young people are pressing pause on their dreams like buying a home or even getting married because of their student loan debt,” said Rachel Cruze, personal finance expert with Ramsey Solutions.

Season one of “Going From Broke” is currently available to stream for free exclusively on Crackle and has generated more than 18 million streams. To learn more about the show and to follow the journey of the cast please visit GoingFromBroke.info and use #GoingFromBroke.

Philo Adds Crackle, Bloomberg TV Content

Online TV serivce Philo April 20 announced it is adding ad-supported Crackle, owned and operated by Crackle Plus, to its platform. Philo is also adding Bloomberg TV and Revry. Bloomberg TV gives viewers live access to the latest news in business, markets and technology, and Revry brings the first global streaming network focused on the LGBTQ community.

“Philo offers affordable TV content to their fast growing audience and we are thrilled to give them full access to Crackle’s library of Hollywood blockbusters and classic TV shows, as well as a growing collection of original and exclusive content not available on any other platforms, such as ‘Going From Broke,’ which will launch a second season on May 20,” Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, said in a statement.

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Philo’s subscription package includes more than 60 live channels and 60,000 current on-demand offerings for $20 per month. Earlier this month, Philo partnered with T-Mobile to offer Philo for $10 per month to all T-Mobile and Sprint postpaid subscribers.

“The addition of new content from Crackle, as well as Bloomberg TV and Revry, further highlights Philo’s commitment to provide our customers with the best TV viewing experience at a great value,” said Mike Keyserling, COO and head of content acquisition at Philo. “We’re glad to be able to add these incredible channels to our robust line-up of programming for Philo viewers.”

 

News Analysis: AVOD Upping Content Game

As subscription streaming services HBO Max and Paramount+ prep lower-cost, ad-supported consumer options, free ad-supported platforms are entering the original content arena and targeting a growing audience that eschews pay-TV and is not interested in substituting the cable bill with multiplying SVOD fees.

Pluto TV, the AVOD unit owned by Paramount’s corporate parent ViacomCBS, is eyeing a cross-pollination of original content migrating between its 22 million average monthly viewers and SVOD Paramount+. Fox Corp.’s Tubi is eyeing funding lower-budget original movies and TV shows. The platform saw viewership jump 58% in 2020, including 33 million average monthly viewers throughout the fourth quarter. More importantly, viewers consumed 750 million hours of content in the second quarter, which was 70% higher than the previous corresponding period.

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CFO Steve Tomsic told a recent Wall Street investor group Tubi represents the “broadening of the future” for network television, and said he would consider original programing in an attempt to increase ad revenue, which is expected to reach $300 million this year and $1 billion annually in the near term.

“It’s often these really cost-effective titles that a lot of the viewership resides in,” Tomsic said, adding that Fox content assets such as “The Masked Singer” are being co-distributed on Tubi to give the platform an “extra special” edge, and the platform more “breadth” in terms of content.

“Don’t expect us to invest in really meaningful ways in terms of scripted entertainment dramas that come with huge price tags and are really difficult to make work out of the economics of broadcast television,” Tomsic said.

Meanwhile, Roku, which helped co-launch the SVOD market in 2008 with Netflix, is eyeing original content for The Roku Channel, the company’s branded AVOD platform. As of the fourth quarter of 2020, Roku reported 51.2 million monthly active users in the U.S. This figure is the company’s highest-ever active quarterly user total.

To keep those eyeballs returning, Roku is beginning to dip its toes in original programming. The platform March 19 launches “Cypher,” an FBI series featuring seven, one-hour episodes and available free to viewers of The Roku Channel. The AVOD will also become the exclusive destination for more than 75 premium shows and documentaries acquired from short-lived SVOD platform Quibi.

March 18, Roku announced it would kickoff the IAB’s official 2021 NewFronts Lineup on May 3 as the week’s first presenter to media buyers.

“We’ve seen first-hand the role that TV streaming has played in consumers and marketers lives in the last year,” Alison Levin, VP of global ad revenue and marketing solutions at Roku, said in a statement. “Roku is thrilled to kick-off the first presentation at IAB NewFronts once again this year and looks forward to sharing how marketers can buy TV like you watch TV.”

In February, AVOD service Crackle Plus announced that production had begun on season two of its original series “Going From Broke,” the unscripted show spotlighting the financial epidemic of student loan debt executive produced by Ashton Kutcher and hosted by Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig.

Crackle corporate parent Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment operates several ad-supported streaming services (PopcornFlix, Frightpix, faith-based Truli, Espannolflix), with an eye on streaming original and under-the-radar programming to a growing user base.

Michael Pachter, media analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, says the AVOD market offers programmers and advertisers two options: lower-priced subscription plans such as $5.99 Hulu and pending HBO Max and Paramount+. These AVOD editions are typically limited to delivering no more than three to four minutes of ads per hour. By comparison, completely free platforms such as Tubi, Pluto TV, Amazon’s IMDb TV and Crackle can advertise as much as 10 to 12 minutes per hour.

“There’s room for both business models,” Pachter said in an email. “[Crackle buys] produced content for exclusive streaming windows. Really innovative.”

Crackle+ AVOD Service Announces Original Lennox Lewis Boxing Doc

Crackle Plus, the ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) service owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Oct. 6 announced the premiere of original documentary Lennox Lewis: The Untold Story, launching on Oct. 15.

The doc follows the three-time world heavyweight boxing champion as he defied the odds on an inspiring journey to become one of the most decorated boxers in history. Narrated by Dr. Dre, the documentary features never-before-seen footage from Lewis’ personal archives, extensive interviews with Lewis and some of his greatest competitors, including Mike Tyson, George Foreman and Evander Holyfield.

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“We know our audience will appreciate Lennox’s passion and determination to overcome the obstacles he’s faced and reach his dreams both in and out of the ring,” Richard De Croce, SVP of programming at Crackle Plus, said in a statement.

Other original titles found on Crackle include Spides, Corporate Animals, Blue Iguana, Anything is PossibleThe Serge Ibaka StoryRoad to Race Day, On PointCleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters, The Clearing, “Yelawolf: A Slumerican Life,” and “Going From Broke,” recently picked up for a second season.

From a modest and challenging upbringing to an Olympic Gold medal and reign as undisputed heavyweight champion, Lewis’ story is one of redemption and forgiveness and the perseverance and strength needed to overcome obstacles. The doc is written by Josh Dubin and Seth Koch, and produced by Rick Lazes, Nick Koshoff and Tom DeNucci.

“The documentary delivers a powerful message and I am so glad we were able to tell this story,” said Lewis. “For anyone watching who feels they can’t make it in life, I am proof that you can.” 

Crackle is available in the U.S. and can be accessed on 26 devices and services including Amazon FireTV, RokuTV, Apple TV, Smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Vizio), gaming consoles (PS4 and XBoxOne), Plex, iOS and Android mobile devices and on desktops at Crackle.com. Crackle is also available in approximately 500,000 hotel rooms in the Marriott Bonvoy chain.

Crackle Plus Launching Original Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Spides’

Advertising-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) network Crackle Plus on Sept. 3 announced the U.S. premiere of original series “Spides,” launching on Sept. 17.

The series stars Rosabell Laurenti Sellers (“Game of Thrones”) as a young woman who wakes from a coma after taking a mysterious drug alongside Falk Hentschel (“Legends of Tomorrow,” “Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) and Florence Kasumba (Avengers, Black Panther) as local police detectives. The series also stars Damian Hardung (“Name of the Rose”), Désirée Nosbusch (“Bad Banks”), Susanne Wuest (Perfume) and Aleksandar Jovanovic (“Tatort,” “Doctor Who”).

Set in modern-day Berlin, the eight-part series originally broadcast on Syfy follows Nora (Sellers) who falls into a coma after taking an unknown drug and wakes with no memory of her previous life. Meanwhile, local police detectives David Leonhart (Hentschel) and Nique Navar (Kasumba) work to track down the drug in connection to dozens of missing teenagers. In Nora’s quest to discover what happened to her, she uncovers a conspiracy of aliens who are using a synthetic drug to infiltrate humans to use as host bodies.

In addition to “Spides,” Crackle original and exclusive titles include “Corporate Animals,” “Blue Iguana,” “Anything is Possible — The Serge Ibaka Story,” “Road to Race Day,” “On Point,” “Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters,” “The Clearing,” “Crown Vic,” “’85: The Greatest Team in Football History,” “Wonders of the Sea,” “Yelawolf: A Slumerican Life,” and “Going From Broke,” which was recently picked up for a second season.

Spides is distributed in the United States by Screen Media, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company, and the supplier of exclusive and original content for Crackle Plus. 

“We are delighted to add ‘Spides’ to Crackle’s slate of original programming,” Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, said in a statement. “Our audience loves the sci-fi genre and this thrilling series will not disappoint.”

Crackle, which is minority-owned by Sony Pictures, can be accessed on 26 devices and services, including Amazon FireTV, RokuTV, Apple TV, Smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Vizio), gaming consoles (PS4 and XBoxOne), Plex, iOS and Android mobile devices and on desktops at Crackle.com. Crackle is also available in approximately 500,000 hotel rooms in the Marriott Bonvoy chain.

Crackle Joins Plex Streaming Video Platform

Crackle, the ad-supported joint venture between Sony Pictures Television and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, has joined Plex, a global streaming media platform.

Plex users will now have access to Crackle’s original content, including the recently released “On Point,” the docuseries following three high school players as they move through the AAU basketball tournaments and shoot for an enviable career in the NBA; “Yelawolf: A Slumerican Life,” and the zombie action film, “The Clearing,” starring Liam MacIntyre (“Spartacus”).

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In addition to Crackle Originals, the library of content includes Chicken Soup for the Soul’s “Hidden Heroes” and “Everyday Edisons.”

“Plex has a passionate community of users and we are excited to give them full access to Crackle’s library of free movies and TV shows, including a growing number of Originals and Exclusives not available on other AVOD platforms,” Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, which majority-owns Crackle.

The Crackle content joins already available titles from Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, Lionsgate, and Legendary.

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Crackle Original Basketball Docuseries ‘On Point’ Tallies 12 Million Views

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Inc., one of the largest operators of streaming advertising-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) networks, on April 8 said the Crackle Original basketball docuseries “On Point” has gathered more than 12 million views since its Feb. 13 launch.

The 10-part docuseries offers a behind-the-scenes look at the world of prep and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball, a proving ground for top NBA players for the last several decades. “On Point” spotlights Romeo Langford, now a member of the NBA’s Boston Celtics and Scottie Lewis, now at the University of Florida, among other talented young players. Notable appearances in the series include NBA stars Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Zion Williamson.

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“We are delighted with the tremendous viewer response to this series,” said William J. Rouhana Jr., chairman and CEO of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. “With sports seasons being cut short and cancelled altogether, ‘On Point’ has been a great option for fans to learn more about the stories behind the stars they follow on the court.”

Crackle is free to watch and available on all top streaming platforms, connected TVs, game consoles, Crackle mobile apps (iOS, Android) and at Crackle.com. The series was produced by Peter Berg and Film 45 as well as by Complex Networks and is distributed by Screen Media Ventures.

AVOD Service Crackle April 9 Bows Original Docu-Series ‘Yelawolf: A Slumerican Life’

AVOD service Crackle April 9 will debut the original docu-series “Yelawolf: A Slumerican Life.”

The 10-part series follows hip-hop artist Yelawolf as he drifts through Southern backwaters and Northern inner cities, unlocking a world the likes of which you’ve never seen before.

Also in April, Crackle hosts the exclusives Wonders of the Sea 3-D, a science documentary narrated by Arnold Schwarzenegger and co-directed by Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Memory: The Origins of Alien, a 2019 documentary tracing the origin of the classic “Alien” franchise through the script from Dan O’Bannon, the work of James Cameron and other filmmakers, the dark arts of H.R. Giger, to the unsettling works of H.P. Lovecraft and even the mythos of ancient Greek legends.

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Crackle Gets Exclusive Access to ‘Everyday Edisons’

Crackle, the former Sony ad-supported VOD service now owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (CSSE), has inked a distribution deal with Edison Nation for the fifth season of the Emmy Award–winning series “Everyday Edisons,” which will debut exclusively on Crackle in March.

The original four season of the series ran on PBS beginning in 2006. Featuring real inventors, the reboot includes eight new episodes, four judges and 24 new inventors. The show connects inventors with a team of mentors who provide advice in advance of their pitch before a panel of judges.

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Bringing the series back are Chris Ferguson, CEO of Edison Nation, Michael Cable, original series producer and winner of 23 Emmy Awards — including one for Outstanding Educational / Informational Program for “Everyday Edisons” — and Louis Foreman, CEO of Eventys Partners and original series co- creator.

“With its tremendous audience reach and reputation for original inspirational reality programming such as “Going from Broke” and “On Point,” Crackle is the perfect home for Everyday Edisons,” Ferguson said in a statement.

On the show, inventors gain insight on how extraordinary ideas are taken from, for example, a sketch on a napkin to a store shelf. Each episode features three inventors, each of whom has been coached by mentors, including 2019 PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte.

The mentors offer expert advice and help the inventors refine their pitch before presenting their unique idea to a panel of respected industry professionals. The panel includes Foreman, Ferguson, and Kelly Bagla, CEO of Go Legal Yourself, as lead judges.

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A fourth guest judge will appear in each of the episodes, including the following:

Lily Winnail — Winnail is a mompreneur, CEO and found of Padalily
Brian Fried — A successful inventor himself, Fried mentors and represents “Individual Inventors” to “Celebrities” at all stages of the invention process and is known as the Inventor Coach.
Tiffany Norwood — Norwood is a serial entrepreneur, global speaker and inventor who raised $670 million to fund WorldSpace, the first ever global digital satellite radio start-up.
Fred Cary — Cary is a senior executive, strategic consultant, attorney and investment banker. He is also the co-founder of IdeaPros.
Howie Busch — Serial Inventor and Founder of DudeRobe (as seen on Shark Tank).

One winner will be announced at the end of each episode. This inventor will receive a monetary prize of $5,000 plus a chance to work with Edison Nation to bring their product to market.

“When ‘Everyday Edisons’ first premiered in 2006, there was no other program like it,” said Michael Cable, show producer. “It is the original ‘pitch’ program and has launched many successful inventions.”

The new season will showcase various products ranging from new oral care products for individuals with disabilities to innovative new shovels, blow dryer accessories, 3-dimensional playing cards, and customizable blankets, among others.

Season 4 of “Everyday Edisons” is available for free on Crackle starting today.

TiVo: Ad-Supported VOD Gaining Traction

The subscription streaming video market is getting crowded. Pioneering behemoths like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video dominate, spending tens of billions of dollars on original content to lure and retain subscribers in the face of newcomers Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock and Quibi, among others.

As a result, ad-supported VOD content is attracting greater market share, according to new data from TiVo, which found the average U.S. household had 6.9 streaming services in the fourth quarter 2019, up from five services during the same period in 2017.

At more than 73%, YouTube remains the most popular source of free streaming content, followed closely by Facebook (62.3%). Free video from network sites has skyrocketed in popularity (up 31.9% from the previous-year period), while Crackle (+2.4%), Tubi (+3.8 %), The Roku Channel (o.2%), Xumo, Vevo (+5.4%) and Twitch (+3.3%) also gained viewers.

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Indeed, 37.5% of respondents from a fourth-quarter online survey of 6,145 participants in the United States and Canada, said they were “very satisfied” with AVOD, up from 35.4% during the previous-year period. That compared to 33.1% who said they were “very satisfied” with SVOD, down from 33.5% last year.

As expected, the report found that most respondents still find new movies and TV shows to watch through SVOD services Netflix (34.7%) and Prime Video (25.2%), followed closely by free YouTube videos (23%) and pay-TV (21.2%).

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For TV series that consumers watch regularly, it’s a different story. TiVo said pay-TV dominates, with 35% of respondents indicating they find new episodes of their regularly watched series through cable or satellite TV.

Notably, respondents cited transactional VOD services such as iTunes, Amazon, Redbox On Demand, Vudu, and Google Play, among others, as go-to platforms in search of new movie content. That was ahead of platforms such as Hulu, Showtime OTT and Starz.

Another 54% of respondents say they find out about new shows or movies from commercials or ads that run within their current pay-TV or AVOD content.

“Consumers are increasingly ready and willing to adopt innovative (yet simple) technology, devices or services that can serve as guides on their quest to find what they want to watch,” read the report. “They need technology that adds value to their lives, whether by helping them efficiently locate the content they’re looking for or by leading them to the video pathways that suit their needs and desires.”